Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Beaty Street vote: the fix was in before the meeting started

aShortChronicle has obtained the results of a public records request confirming what most people thought after last week's Beaty Street RFP vote.

The "votes" were in fact counted prior to the meeting.

The records request shows a flurry of activity the evening before the vote and the morning of to ensure the development team and staff supporting the project had the votes needed.  These emails show Assistant Town Manager Dawn Blobaum acting as the go-between for the DDP team and the Town Board

Readers will remember that on the Friday before the vote, the town meeting agenda presented an option that had removed the affordable housing component. Then on Monday it became known that was being replaced in favor of a payment in lieu option for that component.

On Tuesday, Commissioners Stacey Anderson, Rodney Graham, and Brian Jenest voted to support a new Luminous option that had on-site AH back in the plan.

So, what happened?

Public records show the following timeline:

Monday, July 10

9:56pm - In an email to the rest of the development team copying Dawn Blobaum, mention is made of nearly having the Beaty Street decision pulled from the agena "again".  It is also stated that "we believe we have reached a consensus with a majority of Commissioners" (emphasis added)

(Note: No emails show how this "consensus" was reached.)

9:58pm - DDP sends email to Dawn Blobaum with new plan that puts on-site affordable housing back in the proposal.

(Note: That is just 2 minutes after the first email.)

Tuesday, July 11

7:02am - Blobaum sends Commissioners the new plan with this request.  "Please let us know if you can support this tonight.

7:32am - Commissioner Stacey Anderson replies "I can support this."

7:36am - Commissioner Rodney Graham replies "Ditto".

7:55am - Commissioner Brian Jenest responds "I support the current proposal."

(Note: There is no comment from Commissioners Beth Cashion and Jim Fuller in the emails.  Both Cashion and Fuller voted "no" on this issue Tuesday evening.)

In these emails Commissioners Graham and Anderson also made other comments.  Graham asked for clarification of possible County support for parks in this area of Davidson, but said his support wasn't "contingent" on getting that update.  Anderson expressed concern for staff's ability to "support the effort that it will take to move this forward including the amount of anticipated public interest".

Later that same day, Commissioners Anderson, Graham, and Jenest stuck with their statements supporting the project - proving that what happened Tuesday evening was little more than kabuki theater.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - great work Rick. Commissioner Anderson's statement about changing her mind looks even more odd than it did initially.